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West School honored for its patriotism, support of troops

5 Feb

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The flag flies high at the West

The flag flies high and proud at the West School

Although we like to get into the meaty side of the issues here on The Eye, we also like to take time out to celebrate nice accomplishments in our community.

So, today we’re pleased to inform you of a noteworthy honor bestowed upon my Alma mater, the West Memorial School.

This morning, US Department of Defense representatives will be at the Bow Street School to honor those at the West with the  prestigious Seven Seals Award, an acknowledgement the DoD created to recognize American employers for patriotic support for soldiers serving in the National Guard and Reserves, and their families.

Massachusetts National Guard Staff Sgt. David Nicholson, a West parent, started the ball rolling on having the West receive this award when he wrote a letter to the DoD. In the letter, Sgt. Nicholson praised Principal Tom Cornacchio “for his patriotic assemblies, for his attention to the condition of the flag outside of the school, and for his daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance over the sound system,”

The students at the West also learn about the Gettysburg Address, have school ceremonies for Patriots Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and are sending care packages to U.S. soldiers overseas.

Sgt. Nicholson, a West School alum, is a former member of the 18th Army Airborne.  He is about to depart on another tour in Afghanistan with the Mass. National Guard.

In these days when some public schools in other communities are cautious about celebrating patriotism for fear it might offend someone, it’s nice to see that Peabody still knows how to celebrate love of country, and appreciate those who protect our freedom.

Congrats to Principal Cornacchio and the entire West Memorial School community. Way to go, Wildcats!

And to Sgt. David Nicholson:  Thank you, sir, for your service.

Peabody’s Mitsopoulos in nationals of prestigious academic competition

31 Jan

By Eye on Peabody

Christina Mitsopoulos (center) poses with some of her teammates

Christina Mitsopoulos (center) poses with the Notre Dame Academy teammates on her panel.

Congratulations to Peabody’s Christina Mitsopoulos, a junior at Notre Dame Academy of Tyngsboro, who was on the winning team in the prestigious “We The People” state academic contest recently at Harvard University.

With the win, in this contest that tests a student’s knowledge of history, the Constitution,  and law, Christina and her NDA classmates advanced to the nationals at George Mason University and on Capitol Hill  in Washington. DC, in April.

A very well-rounded student, athlete and performer, Christina is also on the NDA track team, and is a champion dancer with the Bremer School of Irish Dance.  She hopes to study law someday.

Help support Peabody’s Fire and Police Memorial

21 Dec

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

When most people are running away from a dangerous situation, the brave men and women of our police and fire departments are running toward it.

I think of this adage in a huge way each September 11th, a day when hundreds of brave first responders made the ultimate sacrifice. And, we were reminded of it a week ago today when police and fire departments responded to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Peabody Fire and Police Memorial

A look at what the new Peabody Fire and Police Memorial might look like

Closer to home, and in just two days, we’ll memorialize the loss a year ago of one of Peabody’s finest, firefighter James Rice , who died as the result of injuries he sustained while fighting a blaze on Peabody’s Hancock Street.

Why am I bringing this all up today?

Well, it’s time for us to come together as a community and honor our own local heroes. It’s time to support the construction of the Peabody Fire and Police Memorial.

A joint effort between representatives from Peabody Fire and Police, and the Mayor’s office is underway to build a memorial that would look very similar to the photo posted here.

PFD Captain Dale Kimball is one of the organizers of the effort, which includes being able to raise $100,000 in private donations.  The city will donate land on Perkins Street.

What I’m asking all Eye readers to do today is click through to the website and consider making a donation to these efforts, or sponsoring a brick that will be placed around the memorial.

It’s a great way to saying thanks and show that you appreciate these people who keep you safe each and every day.

Nice video report in Patch on Peabody’s vigil for Sandy Hook

21 Dec

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher


Click on the image to be taken to the video report from last night’s vigil in front of Peabody City Hall for the Sandy Hook school shooting victims.

In case you couldn’t be there, here’s an excellent video account from the Peabody Patch of last night’s vigil in front of Peabody City Hall for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

Hats off to Patch Editor John Castelluccio for reporting on this, and posting this video. Very well done, John. This is how all mainstream media should act in situations like these. Chronicle important events, but don’t be part of the story or sensationalize.

This video simply shows you what you missed, if weren’t able to attend.  No more needs to be written by me: the video tells the story.

A night of honor for six of Peabody’s firefighter heroes

19 Dec

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

FFIt was an evening of honor for the Peabody Fire Department last night at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, as several of our brave firefighters were honored at 2012 Firefighter of the Year Awards,

Firefighter Jim Rice, who made the ultimate sacrifice when he lost his life a year ago while battling a fire on Hancock Street, received the Medal of Honor, the highest honor presented at the awards ceremony. Jim’s wife Amy, on behalf of Jim and their children Alyssa, Katelyn and Ryan, accepted the award last night from Governor Deval Patrick.

But it was also an evening to honor five additional Peabody heroes:

  •  Deputy Chief Eric Harrison, who was a captain last December, received a Medal of Valor for his actions while going into the building on Hancock Street with his team in an effort to save Firefighter Rice, who had become trapped.

The Peabody Patch today does a really nice job with full details from last night’s ceremony. You can check it out by clicking here.

Jim Rice to be honored at Firefighter of the Year Awards

17 Dec


By Eye on Peabody

Fallen Peabody firefighter James Rice will be posthumously bestowed with an award for bravery and excellence in fire service tomorrow night during the annual Firefighter of the Year Awards at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

Firefighter Rice, 42,  died a year ago after inhaling toxic fumes while battling a three-alarm fire.

Since then a memorial scholarship fund has also been established in his name.

It’s definitely nice to hear of the latest honor for a Peabody fallen hero.

Rocha second in nationals

8 Dec

Eye on Peabody,

Congrats to Peabody’s Catarina Rocha, who today placed second among the best of the best high school female distance runners in the country at the Foot Locker Cross-Country Nationals.

You can read the rull details here in the Peabody Patch.

Tis the season for these Peabody kids to spread good cheer at your front door

7 Dec

Alex and Lea Romano and the Caring Carolers at our front door tonight

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The nice thing about having your own blog is that you can write about anything you want, any time you want.

And while I know that I’m likely to get some criticism from those who think this blog should be serious Peabody issues all of the time, tonight I bring you something that still has constant companion and I feeling good, and smiling on this rainy Friday night.

We were visited tonight by Alex and Lea Romano and the Caring Carolers!

We were treated to a rousing chorus of “The 12-days of Christmas,” and all we had to do was make an offering to Haven From Hunger. Actually, we didn’t have to make any offering at all, but these kids, these great kids, who make you feel wonderful about our future as a city and a country, go around our Jordan Acres neighborhood each December, spreading good cheer and requesting a little something for those less fortunate than us.

We donated some non-perishable food, but you could also donate a check made out to Haven From Hunger. Or, you could just enjoy the carols. Although – unless your name is Scrooge or Grinch – why in the world wouldn’t you give these great kids something for their efforts?

Of course, being the perpetual wise ass that I can be, once they were done singing I just couldn’t help myself, and asked them:  “hey kids, what the heck did you do with the money your mom gave you for those singing lessons?” OK, so a few of them were a little off key. It was the thougt that counted.

And right now, thanks to them, we’re feeling good and realizing that Peabody is a pretty nice place to live, amd if these young people are any indication, our future is bright.

Thank you Caring Carolers, and Merry Christmas.

Hey Nellie, how can we miss you, if you just won’t go away

7 Dec nel

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

When I first read the latest drivel from Nelson Benton, the former editorial page editor of the dying Salem News, my first reaction was: “Hey Nelson, how are we ever going to be able to miss you, if you just won’t go away?”

My other thought was: Wow, how pathetic must it be to sit in some retirement community in Arizona, contemplating your life, and coming to the sad conclusion that the only thing worse that being a hack “journalist” is being a has-been hack “journalist.”

At this point, I find it necessary to apologize to my audience. After all, I did promise to keep this blog above board and not take shots at people. But after you read what ole Nellie wrote about late former State Rep Joyce Spilliotis, in his “tribute,” I’m sure you’ll give me a mulligan here when it comes to my promise.

I won’t provide the link to Benton’s trashy column from a newspaper rag on its last legs, but here’s just one of the things he wrote about Joyce:

 “The late Rep. Joyce Spiliotis’ populist brand of politics became a model for many local office-seekers who have found that the surest route to success at the polls is to pander rather than lead,” wrote Benton, who actually should know a little bit about pandering instead of leading. After all, his entire career was built around him being told what to write, and who to slam by the corner office at Peabody City Hall.

Geez, I always thought that it was customary to either say nice things, or say nothing at all less than a week after someone’s funeral?

I personally spent the first 12 years of my professional career working at all levels of newspapering, from large papers to small, from dailies to weeklies. I never worked with ole Nellie, but I can tell you that we always had a word for his type of “journalist.” We called those crotchety, old angry guys sitting in the corner of the newsroom … HACKS.

Hey Nellie, is the shoe fits …

Just sitting here this morning, drinking some java before heading off to work, and contemplating what my life might be like in 20 years. I’m hoping I live somewhere warm, just like Nellie. But I also hope that I won’t be sad, pathetic, and angry.

Hey, Nellie. Time to go away. Enjoy those grand kids, and spare us of your brand of “journalism” once and for all.  OK?

Special Mass to honor Pearl Harbor Vets at St. Adelaide Church on Sunday

7 Dec


By Eye on Peabody

Please say a prayer today and think about what the men and women who served in World War II did to save freedom around the world. The “Greatest Generation” is leaving us as the years go by, so it’s always nice to see events like this one, which was posted today in the Peabody Patch.

St. Adelaide Catholic Church on Lowell Street in West Peabody will be holding a special Mass of remembrance on Sunday in honor of the Pearl Harbor Veterans.

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. The world changed forever 71 years ago, and we owe a debt of gratitude to those who sacrificed so much so that we could have everything we have today.


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