SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 19, 2013

Benton: Missing the North Shore at Christmas

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The upcoming announcement by Shrewsbury’s Mark Fisher that he will run as a tea party candidate for the Republican nomination for governor next year could be a godsend for Swampscott’s Charlie Baker. The latter will be at pains to separate himself from the more extreme elements of the Grand Old Party as he wages what seems at this point a very winnable campaign for the corner office at the Statehouse.

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Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll continues to tout the value of public art. It should be noted, however, that she was not a fan of the Bewitched statue, or at least its location in Lappin Park, when it was placed there several years ago.

But the monument to one of TV’s best-remembered sitcoms has proven popular with tourists and should be even more so next year which marks the 50th anniversary of its debut on ABC.

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Congratulations to Salem Ward 1 Councilor Bob McCarthy, who, according to reports, has secured the votes needed to become council president next year. His was the critical vote against the effort to sow further discord between the executive and legislative branches early in 2013, and he was rewarded with re-election in November.

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Real-estate blogger Natalie Grigson recently ranked the Bay State’s largest communities in terms of their livability (cost of living, crime rate, high school graduation rate, median income, amenities, etc.). Here on the North Shore only Gloucester (3) and Salem (9) made the top 10. Beverly ranked 12th, ahead of Danvers (18) and Peabody (46). First place went to Marshfield, while finishing last among the 75 communities listed was the city of Holyoke.

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