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


“What is Climate Change and Why Should I Care?” at the South Branch of the Peabody Library


The South Branch is pleased to welcome Dr. Jeremy Shakun as he demystifies climate change. Climate change is mentioned frequently in the news media, but what is it exactly and how does it affect us? Dr. Shakun will be here to take his scientific expertise and relay it to attendees in plain, understandable language. His talk will cover what climate change is, how it affects us, both globally and locally, and what can be done about it.

Dr. Jeremy Shakun is a geologist teaching as an Assistant Professor at Boston College and working to understand the behavior of our global climate change system. His research works towards a holistic, big-picture view of global change, and he has a passion for communicating scientific ideas to those of us not well-versed in scientific principles.

The program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. This program will take place at the South Branch of the Peabody Institute Library, which is located at 78 Lynn St., on Thursday, May 4 at 7 p.m. For more information and to register for this program, please go to, call 978-531-3380 or stop by in person.


Haven from Hunger to host Empty Bowl Dinner

Over the past three months, community members gathered in groups large and small to hand-paint more than 500 ceramic bowls for Haven from Hunger’s upcoming Empty Bowl Dinner, a community-wide event to fight hunger in Peabody, Salem and Lynnfield. Other volunteers then fired the bowls in kilns at Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody High School and the Barn Workshop in Danvers.

On May 4, members of the public are invited to stop by Peabody High School between 4 and 7 p.m. for the Empty Bowl Dinner, a simple meal of soup and bread where each guest may select one of the colorful bowls and take it home as a reminder of the fight against hunger in our communities. Tickets for the event will be available at the door for a minimum suggested donation of $15 ($10 for children under 10).

Empty Bowl events are held nationally to generate awareness about hunger and to raise funds for local hunger-relief organizations. The May 4 event will raise funds for Haven from Hunger’s hunger-relief programs, which include a food pantry for residents of Peabody, Salem and Lynnfield. In 2016 Haven’s food pantry distributed more than a million pounds of free groceries to people in need.

Sponsored by Salem Five Bank Charitable Foundation, Haven from Hunger’s Empty Bowl Dinner will feature delicious soups donated by local restaurants, including Black Sheep Pub & Grill, British Beer Company – Danvers, Brodie’s Pub, Brothers Restaurant & Deli of Peabody, Burtons Grill of Peabody, LLC, California Pizza Kitchen, Century House, Not Your Average Joe’s of Peabody, Opus, and Spinelli’s Function Facility – and by students in Peabody High School’s culinary program.


The Advocate HOROSCOPE

Aries  (March 21st-April 20th): Hopefully this week was busy to begin with but coming to a quiet end. Relax and recoup this weekend for another fast week approaching. You may feel like a family member isn’t giving you the full story when you get together. Push for the information you need through showing concern- instead of aggression!

Taurus  (April 21st-May 20th): Focus on releasing anger associated with the past right now. Write down all of the things bothering you, blocking you or hurting you and tear/bury/sink/burn that piece of paper. The planetary alignment currently is encouraging you to finally let go of some emotional baggage in order to zoom forward! Take care of you, and the rest will follow!

Gemini (May 21st-June 20th): Geminis are known as the sign of the twins- and this plays out in your personality by giving you two different sides. Right now it may feel like you are flip flopping back and forth between moods faster than usual, and your opinions are changing quickly too! Try not to make any long term decisions, and allow yourself to hear out YOU!

Cancer (June 21st-July 22nd): Time is going to slip by this week and next! As long as you are keeping a reliable calendar everything will get done, but claim the sleep + rest you need to stay emotionally stable. Becoming over tired can lead to serious crabbiness- and that isn’t a good look for you right now at work! Avoid plans with flakey friends this weekend- it won’t end up happening.

Leo (July 23rd-August 22nd): Remain calm and do not throw your computer/phone/tablet out the window. Technology isn’t on your side right now, so step back and do anything you can old school. Pens and paper may take longer, but theres a good chance you could use a little slowing down anyways! Speak up next week when a friend reveals some concerning facts about their home life.

Virgo (August 23rd-September 22rd): The new moon this past week will have you focusing on nothing but business and how you can expand it. Whether this is within your current career, or a separate hobby you have been considering making some extra money with, now is the time…to plan. Mercury retrograde lasts until the 3rd, so put energy into learning, connecting and plotting your new projects now and take action after the beginning of May.

Libra (September 23th-October 22rd): Some apologies and clarification you have been avoiding taking care of should be done now. Anything that needs to be said by you to clear the air and relieve tension from past weeks won’t go away until addressed, and quite frankly, the putting off of this on your part may be the real reason for hurt. Show a little love and it’ll all be fabulous- the good vibes will be contagious.

Scorpio (October 23rd-November 22nd): There are a couple agreements and plans you have been talking about that are yet to be set in stone. Get your ducks in a row to accomplish these things, but don’t sign any paperwork or make any big purchases until after May 3rd. Time is going to go by quick though, so staying on top of your schedule is key these next weeks!

Sagittarius (November 23rd-December 21st): The new moon likely peaked your interest in improving your fitness and diet- go for it! Summer is just around the corner and getting your self confidence back up there will do you a world of good. Don’t gamble or splurge this weekend- you’ll regret it next week when other, more important, expenses come up at home!

Capricorn(December22nd- January 19th): Mix business and pleasure this weekend and do something fun with your co workers. Taking the lead on breaking the ice and having some fun outside of the office will do everyone good- and boost the mood! Don’t ignore any minor home repairs that need to get done right now- they will become big problems quickly before the retrograde ends.

Aquarius  (January 20th- February 19th): If you see something say something at work this week! Sketchy behavior is just the bringing of what might be going on out of sight. Calling things out will benefit everyone in the long run, even if you are the bad guy for a minute. Stretch it out this weekend at yoga or the gym, and release some physical tension!

Pisces (February 20th- March 20th): Take a step back this week and next when tensions arise. Although it may feel like the people challenging you are representing a totally different idea- you may be able to come to a solution quite quickly if you calm down first. Don’t forget to eat and drink water as time starts to fly by and your schedule stays busy.

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



School Committee to start from scratch in superintendent search

It’s back to the drawing board for the Peabody School Committee. After a months-long search that yielded six finalists, then two, then one, the school board will have to go through the process all over again. In the meantime, interim Superintendent Herb Levine will pick up the slack for another year.

It was nothing personal for the committee members in their decision to waive the top slot to the E.J. Harrington Elementary School Principal, Debra Ruggiero. Ultimately, none of the candidates that the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) chose were sufficiently qualified for the position. The city hired MASC to conduct interviews and parse through applications. “We had candidates who did not have experience with collective bargaining, and not one candidate had experience formulating a budget beyond the building or department level,” said Committee Member Jarrod Hochman.

During the third interview earlier this month, Ruggiero, who is a Peabody resident, attempted to persuade the board otherwise. Committee members were concerned that Ruggiero may not be able to handle the $70 million budget that the schools receive, given that she is experienced only with handling the budget of one school. She explained that including the senior leadership team was helpful to her making any decisions about spending, and that they were also informed by taking a hard look at data. “I don’t want to make a decision just because we think we need something,” she said. “I do have the drive and passion.” She added, “I’m reaching for the stars, and Peabody is my star.”

John Oteri, another candidate, dropped out at the last minute, opting to go with the superintendent position in Malden. Oteri was formerly the headmaster at Somerville High School and was tied with Ruggiero for the top position.

Another candidate, former assistant superintendent in Gloucester Arthur Unobskey, left to assume the superintendent post in Wayland.

Lourenco Garcia, principal of Revere High School, Laura Chesson, the assistant superintendent in Arlington, Peter Badalament, an educational consultant and former principal of Concord-Carlisle High School, did not make the cut.

Ultimately, the board felt it was better for Levine, who is an experienced administrator and already has years under the belt working with Peabody, to remain in the position.

The Peabody School Committee has a lot on its plate in the upcoming year, with overcrowded schools, the Middle School Building Project wrapping up its final phase and the city taking a hard look at redistricting. The board has yet to say when the search will resume.

By Melanie Higgins


Peabody honors Revolutionary War heroes at Patriots’ Day ceremony









A little more than 242 years ago, seven Peabody men (then from South Danvers) died defending their country from injustices. The city honored these men for their deeds at a solemn ceremony last Monday, held at the War Memorial on the corner of Sewall and Washington Streets. Surrounded by local dignitaries, including the mayor, veterans, Reverend Dr. Bert White and residents, their present-day counterparts fired off shots from their muskets to commemorate the occasion. Nearby, veteran commandant in the Marine Corps Steve Coddens played “Taps” from his bugle.

Calling the fallen men “saints,” Reverend White told a narrative of the first few days of the war and asked attendees to reflect on the “humiliation” and “inhuman bloodshed” of those days. He called attention to the fact that many of the fallen were “just boys” at 21 years old. He then led a prayer.

“As I look at the names on this statue, I think of the times we are in today,” Peabody Historical Society President Richard St. Pierre, who helped organize the event, remarked moments later. “We are living in some pretty dangerous times. These men who paid the ultimate sacrifice were living in dangerous times, too. I like to think that the spirit and the sacrifices they made remind of us of the ideals we have as Americans.”

“So many times our nation is tested.” said Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who paused to reflect on the occasion. “These men who sacrificed for our country, to build our country, are something special.”

Samuel Cook, 33, Benjamin Daland, 25, George Southwick, 25, Jotham Webb, 22, and Ebenezer Goldthwaite, 21, rested yards away. Jacobs, 21, is buried at the Jacobs Family Cemetery, while the locations of Putnam, 21, and Webb, 21, are unknown – although they are believed to lie in Danvers.

The group bravely descended on Lexington on April 19, 1775, to fight the British soldiers in a battle that would set off the Revolutionary War and eventually lead to American independence. Led by Colonel Pickering, the seven men were of an original 477 of local Boston-area troops that fought the British that day, which brought them through Arlington (Menotomy), Lexington and Concord; 49 were killed in the battle, with 39 wounded and 5 missing. The seven Danvers men were killed in a particularly violent skirmish at the Jason Russell house in Menotomy, when the British soldiers attacked them with bayonets.

Last Monday, they were represented by the Danvers Alarm List, a modern day adaptation of the actual “alarm list” – a regiment serving as the last line of defense, typically composed of elderly men who remained in their homes. Henry Rutkowski, Bill Clemens, Dan Cripps, Skip Wiley, Jim Driscoll and Billy Clemens represented the fallen men, dressed in authentic military uniform of the time period.

“It means everything,” said veteran of the 2nd Corps Cadets Ron Morneau of the ceremony. “[The revolutionary war] was the beginning of our freedom. Morneau is the commander of the Veterans Association; its office is at the armory in Danvers. Joined by fellow cadets Jim Sweet and Russ Bowden, Morneau said he was thankful for the sacrifices of the seven men celebrated last Monday. Looking to the future, he said that that we should be careful not to take our liberty for granted – “We must not be complacent.”

By Melanie Higgins


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