In this month of national introspection, and as the air is full of the thump! of toppled statues, President Trump proposed creating a national statuary park. His gallery of American heroes reflects his inclinations and impulses — several unavoidable pioneers, such as the Rev. Martin Luther K…

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As we navigate through and past the COVID-19 pandemic, Essex County has within our grasp the antidote to recent labor market reports: human potential.

Penny Wigglesworth, a native Marbleheader who passed away in Naples, Florida, at the end of May, was a bright spirit who added a spark of life and love to just about everything she touched. Her specialty was “cheer.” She seemed to constantly find new ways to “cheer” — whether it was to “chee…

As the director of Salem State’s chapter of the librarian and faculty union (MSCA), I read the July 2 article Salem State furloughs proposed  with interest. In that article, Salem State President John Keenan identified the current budget problems as being due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have…

This year above all, our Independence Day commemorations and introspection ought not to conclude on the Fourth of July. Indeed, in a year like this -- in our national moment of reflection and rebellion -- we require one more day of contemplation on our national character and our national purpose.

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the practice of medicine in many ways and ushered in the age of virtual visits. Recently, we set up a virtual visit with a 91-year-old patient, who would be at very high risk for complications from COVID-19 if he were exposed to it. The visit was done during t…

As an English professor, I taught students to distinguish between “denotation” and “connotation.” Denotation was what a word meant. Connotation got to its emotional tone. Words that seem synonymous often have different “flavors.” Would you rather disagree with your love or have a spat? Would…

I remember reading Tip O’Neil’s biography many years ago in which he said there are two kinds of people -- those who see someone walking down the street and deliberately cross the street to avoid them and those that greet you with a smile or a hello. I have always considered myself the type …

As we approach this Fourth of July, we -- the heirs to the Declaration of Independence -- are engaged in nationwide introspection on the nature of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” nearly two and a half centuries after those seven words became an uplifting shorthand for the Americ…

Even in a time of painful divisions in our country, there is little doubt among people of good faith that what Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers did to George Floyd was criminal. If they are indeed convicted of a felony, how is it that the former officers could…

Two very different populations. One, parents who need confidence — before they resume on-site work — that young children left with early education and childcare providers are protected from the COVID-19 virus. The other, those coping with homelessness, substance abuse and an inability to car…

“I’m not a racist.” That’s what one of the members of our church said during a discussion we had on race. “Our community isn’t racist; we welcome everyone.” I heard that here in Rockport. “Our country is not racist.” I read those words in a letter to the editor in this newspaper just last week.

If there is one golden rule that political professionals of all stripes, parties and ideologies embrace, it is that the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day. It actually is possible to put a precise time on the moment when any lingering doubts about the utility of this rule were…

Even as we work together to overcome COVID-19, we still cannot ignore the suffering in our community caused by the still-present national opioid crisis. Dozens of residents of Salem have died from opioid overdose over the last two years. It can feel like a very complicated problem without an…

Fifty years ago this month, and just a few weeks out of high school, I began work at a federal agency known as “America’s greatest idea” – the US National Park Service.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, during the period of 2008 to 2016, there were more than 6,000 veteran suicides each year in the United States. Suicide is the worst outcome linked to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An increase of research on PTSD with the United S…

There’s a car parked atop the asphalt bump I saw Dad create 50 years ago to repair a hole in the driveway of his car wash. He built the car wash here at 324 Bridge St. in Salem with his own hands, cinder block by cinder block, and named it Jodeen Car Wash, after me (Jody) and my sister (Maureen).

I started this prior to the murder of George Floyd and the start of the recent demonstrations against racial injustice and white supremacy. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has made all the existing disparities in our systems more clearly defined, I felt it was important to publish it. COVID…

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Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a weekly series of practical tips from the Healthy Peabody Collaborative on how to strengthen the positive relationships that are essential to young people’s growth, learning and thriving.

Salem, like the rest of Massachusetts, is beginning to reopen – slowly, safely and based on science. The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed so much about our society. While the impacts to our economy, daily behavior, and social interactions have all been profoundly impacted, no i…

The riots of the past week are depressingly familiar. “I read that report,” the world-renowned psychologist Dr. Kenneth Clark noted in 1967 about President Lyndon Johnson’s Kerner Commission Report on Civil Disorders. “The report of the 1919 riot in Chicago,” Clark continued, “and it is as i…

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Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a weekly series of practical tips from the Healthy Peabody Collaborative on how to strengthen the positive relationships that are essential to young people’s growth, learning and thriving.

This pandemic is shaking things up. As a parent to three children – ages 17, 13 and 10, with different learning styles and needs – it has definitely shaken up how my kids do school. It has also made me more aware that our public-school system is primarily designed around a previous era of in…

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Editor's Note: This is the third in a weekly series of practical tips from the Healthy Peabody Collaborative on how to strengthen the positive relationships that are essential to young people’s growth, learning and thriving.

On Friday May 8, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the most sobering economic data to date. In the month of April, the unemployment rate rose to 14.7% as the economy shed a prodigious 22.3 million jobs. Due to data collection issues, that number likely underestimates the unemployment r…

Erik Larson’s latest best seller, the “Splendid and the Vile,” is a fascinating telling of the challenges faced by Winston Churchill and the British people in 1940 and 1941. It’s hard not to contrast Churchill’s leadership and public reaction to today’s events and the leadership of President…

I wish we had Salem State University graduation on Saturday to look forward to. Here’s what would have happened:

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Editor's Note: This is the second in a weekly series of practical tips from the Healthy Peabody Collaborative on how to strengthen the positive relationships that are essential to young people’s growth, learning and thriving.

Herds of goats abandoning their habitat in the Great Orme headland and wandering into the Welsh coastal town of Llandudno. Bobcats and ravens spotted in parts of Yosemite that just weeks ago were the province only of humans. A coyote appearing in the backyard of a suburban home in Westcheste…

Two months have passed since I’ve been to Walgreens, but this morning with my mask on I made it to the pharmacy window (now plexiglass protected) for a prescription. On my way along the aisles I spotted another item I was running short of — manila mailing envelopes. I have postage stamps at …

This week, the Salem State community would be celebrating our 151st commencement. In person. With pomp. With circumstance. For the past 26 years, I have loved each SSU commencement ceremony, the pride and joy lighting up the faces of our students who work so hard for these moments.

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Editor's Note: This is the first in a weekly series of practical tips from the Healthy Peabody Collaborative on how to strengthen the positive relationships that are essential to young people’s growth, learning and thriving.At the Healthy Peabody Collaborative, we work to intentionally build…

In the six weeks since the novel coronavirus began changing the way we live and work around the globe, across the nation – and right here in Essex County – nonprofits and small businesses have struggled just to survive. At the same time, they are being pressed to invent new ways to balance s…

Over the last week, a debate about when to reopen our country has begun in earnest. If we reopen too soon, we’ll lose the progress we’ve gained by social distancing, see a new spike in cases that overwhelms our hospital system, and inject even more uncertainty into an economy that’s buckling…

It appears many municipal legislative bodies across the state, including the Peabody City Council, are using Zoom for their public meetings at the expense of public input. The council is changing the way we meet because of a misread of Gov. Baker’s March 23 order “assuring continued operatio…

March was the first time in history that you could speak up at a City Council hearing in Salem from comfort of your own home, through a remote meeting. Remote meetings are being conducted in many cities and towns due to the limitations on social gatherings in order to mitigate the spread of …

Whether you like President Trump’s policies or not, the one characteristic of his presidency that has been inexcusably destructive has been his unwillingness to consistently attempt to be a president of all the people. I’m not referring here to industrial, economic, immigration or environmen…

Either science matters or it doesn’t. Policy makers can’t have it both ways and selectively apply it only when it advances a political agenda.

Local news organizations have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Associated Press on April 3, citing a study from the University of North Carolina, reported that “2,100 cities and towns have lost a paper in the past 15 years.” According to the New York Times, the same study found that “t…

Calvin Coolidge’s stance at the Boston Police Strike of 1919 catapulted him to national prominence, to his party’s vice presidential nomination a year later, and eventually to the presidency. Herbert Hoover’s achievement in feeding starving Europeans after World War I gave him the heroic sta…

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights how our chronic shortage of skilled nurses is a critical stressor on our health care system.

My wife and I have 35 years of combined experience in education. Our daughter is in sixth grade. We are fully capable of running a rigorous academic homeschool. Instead, we ask, “Who cares?”

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