Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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  • Two alarm blaze rips through Highland Ave. building

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • RHS senior receives $5,000 Hood® Milk Sportsmanship Scholarship

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Playground Dangers

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Community ’N Unity Celebration

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00


The Advocate HOROSCOPE

Aries  (March 21st-April 20th): With the sun going through your house of finances, money and saving should be your main focus right now. Make sure you are on top of upcoming bills and that you will have what you need for upcoming weeks. If your words get twisted next week go right to the source to clarify! Cruelty and gossip can be stopped by you- be a compassion leader!

Taurus (April 21st-May 20th): It is your time to shine! Enjoy the attention you get this birthday season and don’t be afraid to throw yourself a party. Utilize the creative energy you have right now and put your ideas into motion with passion. Showing how much you care will be contagious and help your end goal! You have the spark that everyone is craving.

Taurus (May 21st-June 20th): A stressful couple of weeks will be catching up to you soon. Rest and recoup now, and just say no to any invites that are out of the way. Traveling long distances unnecessarily will only drain your energy even more. You’ll be feeling 100% next week, and the dull feelings at work will dissipate! 2017 has been a real up and down one for ya huh?

Cancer (June 21st-July 22nd): Opportunity knocks this week and next for you Cancer, so pay attention! Listen up to complains at work or take note of what needs managing. Communicate these ideas and you should be zooming right towards your 2017 goals! Don’t forget about your own home and responsibilities though, check in during the weekend.

Leo (July 23rd-August 22nd): Fail to succeed right now Leo, and allow yourself to make mistakes publicly. Being down to earth, real and genuine will actually appeal much more to your boss and colleagues than trying super hard. They actually might feel a bit intimidated by you, and showing them your human will lift the tension and awkwardness.

Virgo (August 23rd-September 22rd): This week and next is all about expansion for you- broadening all different horizons. Reach out and communicate to new people and jump on any opportunities you get. Don’t be afraid of change or entering new waters…you can learn any skills you need quickly but these connections might fade if you don’t plant the seeds now. Brag a bit if necessary!

Libra (September 23th-October 22rd): You’ve probably had an emotional week so do what you can to get in some laughs this weekend- maybe a funny movie or reliable friend? Blow off some steam and kick back, your body and mind will feel so much better! You may start to crave privacy next week, tend to that need as you start to enter a transformation phase.

Scorpio (October 23rd-November 22nd): The month of May will be all about partnerships for you Scorpio! Utilize the good ones to full potential, and ditch the toxic old ones. Anybody your doing favors for probably doesn’t deserve it, and anybody helping you out will be happy to help more. Get in your greens when eating and carry some Tums, stomach problems are likely to interrupt important meetings next week!

Sagittarius (November 23rd-December 21st): Get down to business and stay focused at work. Paying attention to small details, scheduling and due dates are key right now for smooth sailing. You may even feel like people are waiting for you to mess up- use it as motivation and don’t stoop to their level! Your green thumb should activate soon with the weather warming up.

Capricorn (December22nd- January 19th): With the sun in fellow earth sign Taurus going through your 5th house of luxuries, passion and creativity you should be feeling great. Embrace this artistic energy by sprucing things up around the home and helping with any events being organized. You might event want to do a little clothing shopping- it’ll help keep this vibe up all summer!

Aquarius (January 20th- February 19th): Boredom doesn’t have to happen! Be spontaneous and go for an adventure if you can. Staying home will only lead to a bad mood, and you may be a bit touchy right now. Channel that into activities instead and opt for doing for so with old friends. Next weekend should be a different pace, nice and slow!

Pisces  (February 20th- March 20th): Expect to be very busy the first couple of weeks of May, and prepare your stuff to be on the go. Don’t forget any chargers or gadgets you may need, and of course some snacks. People will be contacting you left and right- but all for good opportunities if you stay open! You may get a little (forced) break when a family member needs a little help or becomes sick next week.

Francesca Piazza is a Lynnfield native available for astrology consultations, tarot readings/parties, crystal healing, custom jewelry, and reiki. Please like Sister Fran Designs and Readings on Facebook for more info, or contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or



IRA Subaru driven to end hunger


GENEROUS DONATION: IRA Subaru and Group 1 Automotive presented a check for $7,368 to Anne Strong, executive director of Haven From Hunger on Wednesday at the Rte. 114, Peabody dealership. Haven From Hunger provides hunger-relief programs, including a food pantry for residents of Peabody, Salem, and Lynnfield. Shown from left to right, are; David Fesmire, VP East Region for Group 1 Automotive; Mike Garabedian, Sales Manager at IRA Subaru; Tony DiBenedetto, General Manager of IRA Subaru; Anne Strong of Haven From Hunger; Joseph Altivilla, Subaru of New England; and John Hartman, Marketing Director, Group 1 Automotive.

(Advocate photo by JD Mitchell)


It’s all in the family for new South School Principal Mark Higgins


Mark Higgins is back at the South Memorial Elementary School. After a long hiatus that took him to Witchcraft Elementary School, where he served as principal for 13 years, Higgins is bringing that experience with him to serve another generation of South School elementary schoolchildren. Drawing from a professional experience that includes over 30 years as an educator, Higgins hopes that he will serve the South School positively.

“I’m really excited,” Higgins said in a phone call. “I really loved the South School, and I’m excited to reconnect with that community.”

Higgins taught at South School for five years, during which time he built a strong connection with the community there. He also was faculty at the old Higgins Middle School for 15 years before that, where the school’s namesake, J. Henry Higgins, is his great-uncle.

When asked what plans he has for the school, Higgins opted to keep it simple for now. “Interactions with staff are important,” he said. But, he emphasized, “School culture in the most important thing.”

He also noted that some people focus on infrastructure and the physical building rather than the relationships that make a school the place it is – “It’s about the people more than the building.”

In the first few months, he said, he hopes to do “more listening than changing things.” The schools are currently presenting their School Improvement Plans before the city, so the opportunity to make widespread substantive changes to the curriculum is not likely to happen for at most another year.

Higgins starts on July 1. In the interim, Principal Dr. Monique Nappi will serve the school. Nappi said that she is “thrilled” with Higgins taking over, and looks forward to having him back where he is now a regular member of the community.

Higgins, who is originally from Salem, moved his family to Peabody and has three children in the Peabody school system: Marcus, in 6th grade, and twins Adison and Tyson, who are each in 5th grade.

By Melanie Higgins


“Chaz’s road to recovery” paved with help from community




Chaz Goodwin is your average 3rd grader. A student at the McCarthy School, he loves football, hip-hop dancing, and running 5ks. He also has an intractable form of epilepsy that leaves him house-ridden on most days.

Because of the disease, which developed in Chaz in the past year and has claimed the use of his legs, he is limited in what he can do. Once a thriving student at the McCarthy, he spends most of his days at home, aided by a tutor provided by the city.

His disease also makes a considerable strain on his family. Because of his seizures, his family has had to hire private care to administer valium when he has an episode. And that care can be costly. On average, Chaz’s mother, Gina, says the family, which includes five other siblings ages 11 months to 10 years old, $spends 500-1000 per month on his care. Gina has enlisted the help of her family to help Chaz when he needs it, but like any family knows, there’s only so much that can be done. And that gap in care is wearing the family down.

But the community in Peabody is coming to the rescue. In absence of any insurance coverage to assist in paying the family’s medical bills, the city has come together to help the Goodwin family meet those ends. To date, from various fundraisers, including a yard sale at the Ancient Order of Hibernians last Saturday, the city has raised over $10,000 to pay for Chaz’s medical care – roughly the amount the family would require to pay for 10 months of treatment.

A big chunk of that money has come from the McCarthy School itself, which has stepped up to the plate in a big way to support Chaz. Just recently the school held a “green day” (Chaz’s favorite color) and asked each student to donate $1. In total they raised $780.

“He’s such a good kid,” said Gina, who was homebound the day of their most recent fundraiser. “He’d give the shirt off his back for someone.”

So far, Stonewood Tavern and nightclub Breakaway have donated their spaces to hold events that support fundraising efforts for the 3rd grader.

The disease has no cure, and there is an indefinite amount of time that Chaz might need care, meaning that there is still much more to be done. The family hopes to hold one fundraiser per month to meet costs. Until then, the family is thankful for all the support they have received. “The support has been unbelievable.” Gina said.

By Melanie Higgins

Look out for events supporting Chaz or visit his Go Fund Me page to donate. To keep track of fundraisers, “like” “Chaz’s road to recovery” on Facebook.

GreenPeabody Committee Chairwoman Kelly Noonan on how to make a difference for the environment locally


Editor’s note: This past Saturday, the world-celebrated Earth Day, more than 190 nations from around the globe affirmed their commitment to taking care of the one home we all share. Earth Day falls every year on April 22, just around the time that growth blossoms and natural beauty of the environment takes its most potent form.

For this week’s “Advocate Asks,” we spoke with Kelly Noonan, chairwoman of the GreenPeabody Committee, which has been around for the past few years and advocates environmental protection within Peabody and beyond. With climate change ostensibly rapidly taking over and industry contributing to destruction of the ozone, it can become easy to resign oneself to a worsening environment. Noonan describes the small steps one can take that can actually make a big difference and help make the world a better place to live for us and for future generations.

Q: First of all, what does your group do?

A: The GreenPeabody Committee is a long-term ad hoc, green, mayor-appointed committee. GreenPeabody takes a leadership role in promoting, advocating and educating all interested citizens in a community effort to become a more energy efficient and sustainable city while also creating a healthier environment for the residents of Peabody and the surrounding area. We meet regularly to plan city events, like GreenFest, where people from this area can find out what is happening in their community and can learn more about what they as citizens can do at home.

Q: How long have you been involved in the committee?

A: I joined the GreenPeabody Committee in 2011 and then became chairwoman in 2013.

Q: What is your background?

A: As a student at Salem State University, I studied business and marketing and focused most of my research on sustainable business and marketing to green communities. Since graduating, I’ve been able to continue on the path of making Green Business Methods and Marketing my area of focus and have worked for many years as a consultant.

Q: What is your opinion of the job Peabody is doing to help preserve the environment, not just globally, but within the community?

A: I think that since Peabody is supporting Green initiatives like GreenPeabody, they are already headed in the right direction, but more people need to be involved. Recycling is important, and Peabody is doing that, but our committee has believed for a while that the city should take a step further and do more. For example, we could learn from other cities in Massachusetts who are adopting pay-as-you-throw programs and composting programs.

Q: What does Earth Day mean to you?

A: Earth Day is a very important reminder of what people should be trying to do every day – learning about how to better protect your environment and giving back to important causes that are working to do this both on a local and global level.

Q: What are some small, albeit important, steps we can take to help offset global warming?

A: People everywhere can contribute by recycling, reducing, & reusing every day. Try to recycle everything that you use as much as possible. Reduce by limiting your water and electrical usage. And reuse your own personal shopping bags and water bottles instead of wasting plastic bags and bottles.

Q: What do you think nations can do to stir empathy and support for the cause – for environmental protection?

A: Nations across the globe can remind their citizens that the earth is changing due to excess amounts of carbon emissions and it is our duty to stop global warming from damaging our beautiful planet. We can look to countries like Germany, who have been using clean energy excessively for a long time. We can learn from them that this is not a joke and all we need to do is commit.

Q: A big part of Earth Day means simply appreciating the natural beauty and resources our environment offers. In your opinion, what are the best parts of Peabody and Essex County to enjoy?

A: In Peabody, definitely Brooksby Farm; in Essex County, the beaches and nature reservations like Halibut Point in Rockport. These places are beautiful and it is a real gift that they are so close by.

Q: You have GreenFest coming up. What do you hope to accomplish and what can attendees expect?

A: This will be our seventh GreenFest in Peabody. We are hoping that more people from Peabody and surrounding communities will come and learn about what’s happening in Massachusetts. There will be numerous educational exhibits, recycling arts and crafts, electronics recycling and paper-shredding. There will be a computer-building clinic, sustainable science fair projects, and an outdoor pop-up cafe. We are encouraging people to make a day of it and have fun.


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