SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

August 23, 2013

Benton: It doesn't matter that it's a dry heat

(Continued)

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Local Democratic activist and former Salem City Council candidate Darek Barckowski just can’t help himself. Having worked to bring out the Polish-American vote for President Barack Obama in 2012 and on Ed Markey’s U.S. Senate campaign earlier this month, he’s now spending a lot of his time in Boston managing Bill Walczak’s effort to become mayor of that city.

While he’s considered a long shot, Walczak has impressed with a platform that’s focused on creating jobs and improving the quality of life in Boston. One idea: Rejecting plans for a casino at Suffolk Downs and building an “East Boston Innovation District” on the site of the aging track.

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He got Bill Cummings to spend millions transforming the derelict former Shoe plant into a modern research park, and built a new high school. But Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon appears intent on adding to his legacy in the months before he leaves by hiring a new police chief and getting the ball rolling on a new Brimbal Avenue interchange.

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Someone who ought to have real concerns about his legacy is President Obama.

Despite many positive signs, the economy is still having trouble gaining traction; and our foreign policy appears as muddled as at anytime in recent history. Yet the GOP offers only nasty noise rather than concrete alternatives.

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Datebook: U.S. Rep. John Tierney, D-Salem, will join former speaker and current House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi at the North Shore Community College facility at Beverly’s Cumming Center this morning to discuss their “Economic Agenda for Women and Families.” … the Salem Education Foundation will host a forum for all school board candidates on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club.

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