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  • Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Residents in favor of RCN coming to city

    Friday, August 25, 2017 08:53
  • Sergio Cornelio unanimously appointed City Clerk

    Saturday, August 05, 2017 09:22
  • DeRuosi’s Report Card

    Friday, August 04, 2017 10:24
  • Help choose the next Malden Reads 2018 book selection!

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00

News

SOUNDS OF PEABODY

St. Clare of Assisi will host its First Annual Pet Blessing at 10 a.m. on Sept. 30 at Emerson Park, which is located at 34 Perkins St.

The Peabody Institute Library, which is located at 82 Main St., will be hosting the following events: Family Books & Bingo on Oct. 2 and Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m.

The “Starry, Starry Night XIV” Cocktail Fundraiser at Brooksby Farm (54 Felton St.) is scheduled for Oct. 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $25 and can paid in advance or at the door. Tickets can be purchased at all library locations. For additional information, contact Melissa Robinson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 978-531-0100 ext. 16.

The Peabody Institute Library’s Preschool Stories and Crafts program for children ages two to five will be on Oct. 4, Oct. 11, Nov. 1, Nov. 8 and Nov. 15. There is no charge for this program. For additional information, call 978-531-3380.

Peabody Main Streets will be hosting the Fourth Annual Antique Car Show and Craft Fair at 11 a.m. on Oct. 7. There is no charge for admission; the event will be held on Main Street between Foster and Washington Streets.

The Peabody Institute Library will be closed on Oct. 9 in observance of Columbus Day. Regular hours will resume on Oct. 10.

Free influenza vaccines will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the Wiggin Auditorium of City Hall, which is located at 24 Lowell St.

The Peabody Historical Society and Museum will be hosting a lecture at 1 p.m. on Oct. 11, about saving Brooksby Farm. The lecture will be held at 35 Washington St.

Music at Eden’s Edge at the Peabody Institute Library will be performing at 7 p.m. on Oct. 16. Featured musicians will include Daniel Stepner and Maria Benotti playing the violin, Joan Ellersick playing the viola and Lynn Nowels playing the cello.

The Peabody Institute Library’s Cook Me a Story program will be on Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. Registration is required. Anyone interested should contact the library at 978-531-0100.

On Oct. 23, the Peabody Institute Library will be closed from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for staff development training. The South and West Branch Libraries will also have staff development training on the same day and will be closed from 9 a.m. to noon.

Free influenza vaccines will be available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Peabody Municipal Light Plant, which is located at 201 Warren St. Ext.

 

 

Beacon Hill Roll Call

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week.

This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives’ votes on several of the roll calls from September 13 overriding Gov. Charlie Baker’s cuts of $320 million in spending. A two-thirds vote in both branches is needed in order for a veto to be overridden. The Senate has not yet taken up the vetoes. The House restored an estimated $275 million.

House Democratic leaders say the budget is balanced and that Baker’s cuts were unnecessary and would hurt many people including the sick, seniors, children and minorities.

Gov. Baker and some Republicans say that state revenues are running behind projections and urged the House to wait several weeks to see whether revenues increase and whether restoring the funds makes fiscal sense. Some GOP members said because of the uncertainty, they voted to sustain all of Gov. Baker’s vetoes, even though it meant voting against restoring funding for many good programs they would otherwise have supported.

CUT ENTIRE $1 MILLION FOR REACH OUT AND READ PROGRAM PROGRAMS (H 3800)

House 139-13, overrode Gov. Baker’s veto of the entire $1 million in funding for the Reach Out and Read (ROAR) program. ROAR is a national nonprofit group that began in 1989 at Boston Medical Center to address the problem that most pediatricians’ waiting rooms did not have books available to read. Nationally, the group annually distributes 6.5 million books.

The Massachusetts ROAR program trains pediatricians and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud to their children in order to prepare them for school. The program also funds the purchase of books to give to children who are six months to five years old during their visits to their doctors. Some 254 hospitals and clinics in Massachusetts participate in the program, serving 186,000 children and families.

(A “Yes” vote is for spending the $1 million. A “No” vote is against spending it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                Yes

$1 MILLION FOR TUFTS VETERINARY SCHOOL (H 3800)

House 122-30, overrode Gov. Baker’s $1 million veto reduction (from $5 million to $4 million) in funding for Tufts Veterinary School in North Grafton. Tufts is the only veterinary school in New England.

The school offers a four-year professional Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree program, three combined DVM/Masters of Science degree programs, and four stand-alone graduate programs.

Its website says that its progressive academic programs, high-quality clinical care services and original research have brought them national and worldwide acclaim.

(A “Yes” vote is for spending the $1 million. A “No” vote is against spending it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                Yes

$600,000 FOR BOSTON REGIONAL INTELLIGENCE CENTER (H 3800)

House 128-24, overrode Gov. Baker’s $600,000 veto reduction (from $850,000 to $250,000) in funding for the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC) to upgrade, expand and integrate technology and protocols related to anti-terrorism, anti-crime, anti-gang and emergency response.

According to its website, “Information gathered by the BRIC pinpoints areas of crime, shootings and gang violence, as well as helping to identify major players and ex-offenders returning to neighborhoods.”

(A “Yes” vote is for spending the $600,000. A “No” vote is against spending it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                Yes

$250,000 FOR CHELSEA SOLDIERS’ HOME (H 3800)

House 142-10, overrode Gov. Baker’s $303,734 veto reduction (from $27,210,690 to $26,906,956) in funding for the maintenance and operation of the Chelsea Soldier’s Home, a Bay State VA Hospital serving veterans.

(A “Yea” vote is for spending the $303,734. A “No” vote is against spending it.)

Rep. Theodore Speliotis      Yes

Rep. Thomas Walsh                                Yes

HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been filed. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late-night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session.

During the week of September 18-22, the House met for a total of 23 minutes while the Senate met for a total of 31 minutes.

Mon. Sept. 18 House 11:05 a.m. to 11:17 a.m.

Senate 11:04 a.m. to 11:24 a.m.

Tues. Sept. 19 No House session   No Senate session

Wed. Sept. 20 No House session    No Senate session

Thurs. Sept. 21 House 11:05 a.m. to 11:16 a.m.

Senate 11:02 a.m. to 11:13 a.m.

Fri. Sept. 22 No House session       No Senate session

Bob Katzen welcomes
feedback at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Healthy Pet brings ‘‘family vibe’’ to Peabody

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Citing a recent shift in consumer shopping trends, Robert Mellace, along with his brother John and sister Lucia, decided to open Healthy Pet, a store with a comprehensive approach to pet care. Located at 637 Lowell St., the store’s soft opening was on July 9 with the ribbon-cutting and grand opening on Sept. 15-16.

“Healthy Pet is a new concept store for us,” said Mellace, adding that he and his siblings have also owned Pet Express since 1995. “We try to provide consumers with healthy alternatives; we don’t want consumers going to the Internet to buy things for their pets.”

Mellace said customers can quickly determine the quality of pet food by looking at the first five ingredients. “The proof is in the label,” he said.

Some of the brand names customers will find at Healthy Pet are Blue Buffalo, Merrick, Taste of the Wild and Fruitables.

Mellace also said that Healthy Pet is designed to be a neighborhood store, rather than a big box conglomerate. “We have that family vibe here,” he said.

The store itself features a 400-gallon fish tank; a rabbit-petting area, which Mellace said has been very popular with the children, as well as fish from across the globe, lizards, ferrets and hedgehogs.

Mellace said Healthy Pet is equipped with LED lighting. “We’re a green store,” he said.

In addition, Mellace spoke in favor of House Bill 3212. Sponsored by State Rep. Mark Cusack, the bill would prohibit the sale of puppies and kittens that are less than eight weeks old, require puppy microchips to improve consumer protection and prohibit the roadside sale of puppies. “This is a bill we’re standing behind,” said Mellace.

Although Boston City Councillor Matthew O’Malley sponsored and passed a similar city ordinance in March 2016, Mellace said, it did nothing more than create a black market for puppy mills. “What they did in Boston was so counter-productive, it does absolutely nothing,” he said.

State Rep. Theodore Speliotis said he would like to see tighter regulations for service dogs. Right now, anyone can go online and obtain a document stating that they have a service dog, when in fact, that is not the case at all. “I’d like to do that bill,” said Speliotis. “It has wide support in the State House.”

Healthy Pet’s hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store can be reached at 978-535-7387.

By Christopher Roberson


   

Medical marijuana still a hot topic for City Council

The City Council continued to tread lightly on the matter regarding medical marijuana companies who will be applying to set up shop in Peabody. “We don’t want to be in court, we want to protect ourselves,” said President Joel Saslaw during the council’s Sept. 14 meeting.

He also said he expects all approved companies to be active and positive contributors to the city. “These entities are going to put their best foot forward,” he said.

But the real issue has been about determining when a letter of non-opposition would be warranted. “That’s the elephant in the room,” said Saslaw. “There is no guide.”

Therefore, he suggested a list of criteria for the council to use when it comes time to start making those kinds of decisions. Saslaw recommended inquiring about a company’s board of directors, its level of security and its years of industry experience and location. “Those are the things that I thought about,” he said.

Saslaw also said the council would review a host agreement before sending it to Mayor Edward Bettencourt for his signature.

Councillor-at-Large David Gravel suggested implementing additional zoning restrictions for medical marijuana companies. “We should go back into the Zoning Ordinance, open it up and put in the restrictions,” he said.

In other news, the council voted unanimously to grant a live and non-live entertainment license to Metro Bowl.

Resident Jose Pinto of Chestnut Street said he and his neighbors were initially apprehensive about car alarms going off and other loud noises coming from the establishment late at night. “We’re not here to oppose anything, we’re just here to voice some concerns,” he said. Pinto said he and other residents recently had the opportunity to share their concerns with Metro Bowl owner Robert Leo, Ward 4 Councillor Edward Charest and Ward 2 Councillor Peter McGinn.

Speaking about parking, McGinn said 48 new spaces have been added and employees have been instructed to park on Chestnut Street Extension. He said the additional spaces will prevent patrons from having to park on Chestnut Street, Coolidge Road and Franklin Street. In addition, a manager will walk through the parking lot every night to ensure that patrons do not become disruptive. McGinn also said there will be a regular police presence.

Councillor-at-Large Anne Manning-Martin questioned the need for the police. “I’ve never seen any police reports; I’ve never heard of any complaints down there,” she said.

Gravel said he has fond memories of Metro Bowl going back many years. “I grew up in Ward 2 and was a regular patron of Metro Bowl; as kids that’s where we went every Saturday,” he said, adding that he fully backed the request for an entertainment license – “I’m 100 percent in support.”

The council voted unanimously to ask Bettencourt about developing an Economic Vitality Fund, which would be subsidized by the city’s Unrestricted Reserve.

By Christopher Roberson


 

Arnotis makes second run for School Committee

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Two years after making an unsuccessful bid for School Committee, Andrew Arnotis has decided to try it again. “I am running for the School Committee to bring a new voice and fresh ideas to the board,” he said. “When you want to have an impact and better your community, you need to step up and get involved. My goal, if elected, is to make our school system the strongest it can be for the future of our city.”

Arnotis said his campaign has been going “incredibly well so far” and “The reception to someone bringing new blood to the committee has been entirely positive.”

He also said the campaign has allowed him to hear and understand how residents truly feel. “I can’t tell you how many substantive genuine conversations I’ve had with folks about our schools simply by knocking on their door, saying hello and asking to hear their thoughts and opinions,” said Arnotis.

Arnotis outlined some of his objectives should he get elected. “Class sizes and the potential for redistricting is becoming a larger and larger issue in our city. Keeping class sizes small is key to a successful learning environment,” he said. “I am hopeful and supportive of the proposal sent to the state to update and restore the Kiley School to help alleviate overcrowding in classrooms.”

In addition, Arnotis shared his view about the upcoming search for a new superintendent of schools. “I see this as one of the biggest decisions a School Committee has to make,” he said. “It is important to choose someone who is willing to make tough decisions, has a long-term plan on where our district should be in the next five, 10 and 15 years and is open to shaking things up if necessary.”

Arnotis said workforce development would be another priority. “While I chose the four-year college track, it is not always the right fit for many current students,” he said. “Making sure our students are aware of all their options rather than have them fall behind is something I will work tirelessly towards.”

Arnotis also said he is very much aware of the financial challenges facing Peabody’s schools. “I know the School Committee had to make some difficult decisions when determining the FY18 budget,” he said. “Making sure our bills get paid while protecting and expanding valuable and necessary school services will always be a tough balance, especially when money is tight. The board worked hard to strike that balance and protect many important services vital to our students.”

A 2012 graduate of Peabody Veterans Memorial High School and a 2016 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Arnotis is currently the legislative aide to State Rep. Thomas Walsh and was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals in January of this year.

“I am the only person running who is a product of the current day Peabody Public School System. I not only know, but have experienced the strengths and weaknesses our schools have,” he said. “That first-hand knowledge, matched with my background serving our city in various capacities and current experience on the state level, collectively presents a perspective the School Committee doesn’t have and could benefit from.”

By Christopher Roberson


   

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