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News

Peabody loses veteran firefighter in bike/car collision

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A red stripe runs through the badge of the Peabody Fire Department on its Facebook page, and purple buntings hang from the firehouse, meaning that one of the city’s bravest was lost. Daniel Pimenta, a Peabody firefighter of 27 years, was out for a bike ride last Sunday afternoon when he was struck head-on by a Jeep on Hale Street in Beverly. Pimenta, 53, who was off-duty at the time, was rushed seven miles to Beverly Hospital where he was later pronounced dead, according to the Beverly Fire Department. Beverly Police reported that the driver of the Jeep was Paul Fiore, 69, of Beverly.

“It is with heavy hearts and deepest sadness that we announce the passing of active duty Firefighter Dan Pimenta who was struck while riding his bike in Beverly,” said representatives from Peabody Firefighters Local 925 in a written statement. “Dan was an avid rider and champion supporter for the National MS Society. He rode every chance he got and he fought hard to raise awareness and support for this cause. We ask that you keep his loving wife and two children in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”

Peabody Fire Chief Steven Pasdon said Pimenta had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 25 years ago and was in constant pursuit of raising money to further research efforts.

In addition to fighting fires, Pimenta represented Peabody in the MS Climb To The Top in March 2016 at 200 Clarendon St. (formerly the John Hancock Building) in Boston. More recently, Pimenta participated in the Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway 2017, which was held on June 24-25, taking cyclists from Quincy to Provincetown. During the event, he was the team captain for the Peabody Fire Honor Guard Local 925. According to the event’s website, Pimenta’s team raised $12,407.

A Go Fund Me page was opened on July 31 for Pimenta’s family with $5,450 being raised thus far. Pimenta is survived by his wife, Donna, and his two children, Jacob and Stephanie.

Although no charges have been filed, the crash is still under investigation.

By Christopher Roberson


 

Breakaway sets new tone for local music scene

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Musical vet Brian Maes anchors open mic Music Hall

For the last couple of decades, the local music scene has literally hit a wall. It just doesn’t exist unless you want to hit a club in the Financial District to see nationally ranked bands you’ve never heard of opening for an international act on Commonwealth Avenue to 350 people.

For the Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers who’ve grown up and moved to the North Shore and miss the bygone days of The Channel, The Rat, or Bunratty’s, their time has finally made its comeback at Breakaway on Newbury Street in Danvers.

The former Tavern on the Green just south of Rte. 62 features a restaurant, function rooms and a 350-person capacity Music Hall with a brand-new sound system, air-conditioning and a very large parking lot to boot. Breakaway owner Joe Crowley has pulled out all the stops, including adding a serious music schedule with open mic on Tuesday nights hosted by one of the region’s most talented musicians, Brian Maes.

Maes hasn’t been resting on his musical laurels as of late, taking the lead singer duties for Barry Goudreau’s (yes, that Barry Goudreau of the mega-70’s arena rock band Boston) new band, Engine Room.

Coming off the band’s CD release night at the Lynn Auditorium last month, Maes and Crowley sat down with the Advocate for an interview prior to the band’s special show to a packed Music Hall at Breakaway late last month.

“It’s the first record Barry has done since the [Brad] Delp-Goudreau record 10 years ago,” said Maes. “It’s exciting since it’s the first time he released an original record in quite some time.”

Maes and Goudreau have spent the last few years playing with car czar Ernie Boch, Jr.’s band, Ernie & The Automatics; and prior to that, with RTZ (Return To Zero) featuring Brad Delp with bassist Tim Archibald; and before that, with Orion The Hunter touring as the opening act for Aerosmith. Maes would later tour with former J. Geils lead singer Peter Wolf in his band, The House Party Five.

Maes and Goudreau would join another former Boston bandmate, Sib Habashian, on Ernie & The Automatics until the band broke up in 2011. Goudreau called his former front man and told him he was sick of sitting idle and wanted Maes and Archibald on his new record. The pair co-wrote the music and lyrics for the self-titled album Engine Room.

“It felt so good – the creative flow was amazing – we wrote the album in one night,” said Maes. “Barry really gets to stretch out musically and brings back that sound that people expect from him; that finesse, that touch that was heard on the first two Boston albums.”

Fortune, a local band that rocked the Boston area in the 80’s and 90’s and now packs Breakaway, covers many of Boston’s hits with perfection that Goudreau took notice of on a recent stop at Breakaway. Goudreau took the stage, lending his famous guitar chops much to the delight of Boston fans in the audience.

“Playing with someone who at one time was in the biggest band in the world is cool,” said Maes. “To put things into perspective; this guy sold out the [Houston] Astrodome.”

Crowley said he can’t believe the response to bands like Fortune, Country music fave Jimmy Allen, dance cover bands like Wildfire and – coming on Sat., August 12 – local punk legends The Slushpuppies.

In the first three months of Breakaway’s opening, 50’s crooner Ricky Nelson’s twin sons appeared after a local gig with Ernie Boch, and the place went crazy, offering Crowley a good sign that his new music setting has potential.

“I love the entertainment side of this business,” said Crowley, who owns Pisa Pizza, a well-known restaurant in Malden. His signature pizza is on the Breakaway menu.

“We want to keep taking it up another notch – keep growing musically,” he said, referring to a diverse schedule of acts from former Boston area bands to national acts.

Maes and Crowley formed an alliance and created an open mic night on Tuesdays allowing local musicians to play alongside some prominent musical veterans.

Crowley recalled the first time he contemplated booking bands – when he discovered that some of the bands, along with their fans, were banned by the previous owners, and no new bands would call him back for months to play at the club due to its past reputation. But the musical gods would smile on Crowley when, through a friend, he met Maes and the rest is history.

“We had a conversation about doing an open mic, and I promised I would commit to it and build on it,” he said. “Tuesdays are an off night but you invest in it and it’s been awesome ever since.”

Crowley said Maes’s musical friendships have brought in talent from all over the region to jam on what is usually a quiet weekday night. Crowley said in another year he wants to completely change the room and keep adding to the venue.

“I want to be serious about the entertainment – every week quality live music. Some of the stuff we’re doing now separates us from being just a restaurant that features bands,” he said, like young bands with a following looking for a place to jump-start their careers, be noticed and create a following.

Crowley will be looking for top regional Boston favorites to play in the upcoming weeks, such as The Fools, The Stompers, or 43 Church Street, a group of talented young guns from ages 13 to 22 playing original hits around the Boston area.

Given the work ethic and talent between the business owner and the musical veteran, Breakaway looks like the music scene is indeed making a comeback – just north of Boston – and that’s a good thing considering the traffic.

Breakaway is located at 221 Newbury St., Route 1, Danvers (www.Breakawaydanvers.com) Call 978-774-7270 for tickets and information.

By James Mitchell


 

It’s a jungle in there!

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Healthy Pet employees Anita Jelonjic and Emily Biasetti are shown hanging out with a pair of Conures parrots on Tuesday morning. The parrots, along with bunnies, and an amazing variety of fish can be found at their new store located at 637 Lowell St., West Peabody. The family-owned and operated store features premium pet foods, bakery treats, a doggie deli, and pet supplies.  (Advocate photo)


   

Michael Zellen recognized by state for charitable giving

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Michael Zellen of Peabody finished his term as Grand Exalted Ruler for the year 2016-2017. On Saturday, July 29, he received a Citation from the Town of Saugus and the House of Representatives for all his hard work and charitable giving on behalf of the Elks. During the time he was Exalted Ruler, Zellen traveled the Country, visiting Elk lodges in 48 States. The benevolent Elks are a charitable organization made up of men and women. You can follow the travels if Michael Zellen on the Mass Elks website, www.masselks.org.


 

Governor Baker files sales tax holiday legislation

Speaker DeLeo voices opposition, cites budget shortfall

 

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation on Wednesday designating August 19-20, 2017, as Massachusetts’s sales tax holiday weekend to renew a tax-free weekend that generally occurs every year in the Commonwealth. The legislation would suspend the state’s 6.25% retail sales tax for the weekend on purchases of goods costing $2,500 or less, which will provide a welcome relief to consumers and bolster sales at businesses.


“The sales tax holiday gives consumers a much needed break and supports business across the Commonwealth for our hardworking retailers,” said Governor Baker. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to make this important weekend possible so the Commonwealth can shop local and make purchases tax-free.”

“A tax-free weekend provides consumers with a great opportunity to support local businesses while saving money,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This weekend will especially help out parents who are looking to make back-to-school purchases, and I look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to see this legislation passed.”

“The sales tax holiday weekend supports both Main Street and consumers in the Commonwealth, while also boosting economic activity in our cities and towns,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore.

In a statement from House Speaker Rep. Robert A. DeLeo, “It makes little sense for the Governor to file this legislation now when there are several similar bills already in committee. Each year our hope is to hold a sales tax holiday to give our hardworking citizens and local businesses a boost, which is why the House votes consistently in favor of the sales tax holiday whenever revenues allow.

This year, the Commonwealth experienced unpredicted revenue shortfalls and accordingly, the Legislature had to make significant budget cuts to programs and services. In doing so, however, we protected and prioritized the most critical services and programs. We also maintained our support for local cities and towns. These choices ultimately benefit local businesses, all of which require a strong local economy and infrastructure to thrive in the long-term.

In addition, we will continue to work with local retailers to support federal action on creating a level playing field for internet and brick-and-mortar businesses alike. ”

 

   

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