By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher
Catching up on some things today while taking a break from writing about the state rep special election.
Capital punishement for Peabody trees?
Turns out that Massachusetts’ ban on capital punishment doesn’t extend to trees.
Jennifer Pinkham Davis, Peabody’s Director of Parks and Recreation, recently told the City Council’s sub-committee on Legal Affairs that — under state law — any citizen can have trees on city property cut down at any time and at taxpayer expense.
Davis says that, if a citizen asks for a tree to be cut down, the city must go out, examine the tree and determine if it’s a danger to the public. In some cases, the roots of these trees make sidewalks impassable, and potentially dangerous. But it doesn’t stop there: Davis says that, if the city determines the tree is healthy and no danger to public safety, citizens can still petition and have it removed. And most times, the citizen wins.
But here’s the rub: Many times completely healthy trees that pose no danger to the public are cut down, and it can cost the taxpayers up to $8,000 per tree. And … sometimes the resident’s reason for cutting down the tree can as frivolous as “the leaves are making a mess on my lawn.”
To stop this process, Davis is hoping the City Council can create an ordinance that would send that $8,000 bill to the person demanding the destruction of a healthy tree.
Peabody Police: Alert on a utility scam
The Eye is running the following alert from the Peabody Police:
This is a regeneration of an alert sent 02/21/2013 regarding National Grid. PMLP has received customer reports that they are now calling alleging to be from PMLP.
They tell the customer that their account is delinquent and to avoid power shut off they must pay now via credit card. They then use the credit card data to make fraudulent purchases. If you get a call from someone stating they are from PMLP collections, report it to PMLP and the Peabody Police Department. PMLP does not collect over the phone nor threaten shut off in this manner. If you can capture the originating phone call on caller ID please report the number.
Free parking for veterans coming to Peabody?
Postal worker Daniel Heafey has asked the City Council’s Legal Affairs Sub-Committee to pass an ordinance that would provide free parking for veterans in Peabody.
Heafey, a Cold War veteran (1974 to 1978), who blames some hearing loss and a bad knee to some tough work as a military police officer, said he was parking downtown recently and was troubled when he could only park for 15 minutes after putting a nickel in the meter.
“I put a nickel in the meter,” Heafey said. “I was gone for 15 minutes, and I got a ticket.”
No details yet on how the city would enforce this possible new ordinance.
Tickets still available for St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast & Roast
Ttickets remain for the City of Peabody’s First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast and Roast, which will take place on Saturday morning March 16th from 9:00 to 11:00AM in the Frank L. Wiggin Auditorium at Peabody City Hall.
“We have gotten a terrific response for this first St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast and Roast,” said Mayor Ted Bettencourt, “Judging by the demand for tickets, this event is destined to become a longstanding Peabody tradition.”
The public is welcome to attend the breakfast, which will feature Irish music by “McGeney and Moore” and good natured roasting of some of the city’s best known politicos. The cost is $30 per person and all proceeds benefit the Haven from Hunger. Tickets must be reserved in advance as there will be no tickets sold at the door to the event.
Those interested in attending the breakfast should contact Mary Bellavance at 978.538.5704.