Tag Archives: Beverley Griffin Dunne

Sighting a local hero and some curious political creatures at re-scheduled Ward 6 party

21 Jul

 

Sgt. Steve O'Hara, wife Jessica, and their children accept the Ward 6 "Heroes Among Us" award, flanked by Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz (left) and Mayor Ted Bettencourt

Sgt. Steve O’Hara, wife Jessica, and their children accept the Ward 6 “Heroes Among Us” award, flanked by Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz (left) and Mayor Ted Bettencourt. (Photo submitted courtesy of Doug Finnegan).

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The re-scheduled Ward 6 Fourth of July party at Symphony Park this past Saturday featured a huge crowd, the traditional patriotic bike parade, the honoring of a local hero, and much more.

But it was also a day of some interesting sightings of local elected officials, and other political wanaabes.

Please read on, and we’ll get to the political stuff, but first it was wonderful to see a local hero honored for the work he’s done as a police officer.

West Peabody resident, and MBTA Transit Police Sgt. Steve O’Hara was acknowledged for his work in the areas of hostage negotiation/crisis intervention.

O’Hara, who received praise and a certificate from Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz and Mayor Ted Bettencourt, was recognized for talking a suicidal man out of jumping  from the top floor of an MBTA parking garage, and his work helping the family of a fellow officer, who was seriously wounded during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers.

When Officer Richard Donohue was shot, it was O’Hara who was charged with informing the fallen officer’s wife, Kim. Kim later, in an emotional Facebook post, talked about how O’Hara’s wonderful approach to informing her, brought great comfort to the family.

Honoring O’Hara was part of an annual tradition of honoring a local hero at this ward party. It’s an awesome moment at what is always a terrific, well-organized event hosted by the Ward 6 Councilor.

But as I wrote off the top, it wasn’t only about bike parades and ceremonies for heroes.

***

As local politicos know, Ward 6 these days has one of the largest voter turnouts in the entire city, and showing up at Symphony on July 4th (or in this case, July 19th), is a must.

Here were some of my observations and sightings …

  • The biggest battle for the hearts and minds of Ward 6 voters will come in the race for State Rep in the 13th Essex District, and it wasn’t surprising to see both Democratic incumbent Ted Speliotis and his challenger, Republican Tom Lyons, in attendance. Both men thoroughly worked the crowd. Speliotis, who didn’t make an appearance at this ward party last year, seems to suddenly be shifting into campaign mode. Lyons may have held a slight home park advantage on Saturday, since he lives in the ward.
  • Good to see Congressman John Tierney in attendance. I say “see,” since he wasn’t doing a lot of mingling, and it was definitely noticeable when he didn’t say hello to party host Sinewitz. Wonder if that has something to do with the Ward 6 Councilor endorsing Tierney’s opponent in September’s Democratic primary, war hero and Marblehead businessman Seth Moulton? Moulton, who had planned to be at the party on July 4th, couldn’t attend the makeup date because of a family wedding.
  • Even though it’s not an election year for city councilors, it was nice to see Councilor At-Large Tom Walsh come to the party.
  • State Rep candidate Beverley Dunne shows off her basketball skills

    State Rep candidate Beverley Dunne shows off her basketball skills

    It was also nice to see candidate for State Rep Beverley Dunne show up, especially when you consider she’s running in the 12th Essex District, which doesn’t include Ward 6. The long-time school committee member clearly thinks community first, but it’s a good thing that she’s running for state rep and not hoping for a career in the WNBA. Her performance in the women’s free throw shooting contest was, well … let’s just say that at least she didn’t do any worse than fellow school committee member Brandi Carpenter. They both tried their hardest, even if they didn’t win the prize.

  • Showing off some nice basketball skills in the free throw contest was a Bettencourt. No, not the Mayor himself, who once starred for the Holy Cross basketball team. Peabody’s First Lady, Andrea Bettencourt, used a smooth follow through to take second place in the women’s free throw shootout.
  •  Finally, for those who care, I did have a “reunion” with an old political foe. Ward 5 Councilor Joel Saslaw chased me down across the basketball court to say hello, and give me an indication that he’s a big fan of this blog. “Bobby, Bobby, just wanted to say hello, even though you keep taking pot shots at me (in The Eye),” said Mr. Saslaw.

…  Oh, did I also mention that Curious Creatures brought some snakes to show the kids?

 

Dunne’s in, are Cole and Gould out when it comes to Peabody State Rep race?

20 Jan

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

We know Beverley Dunne is in, but who will join her in the race for State Rep?

We know Beverley Dunne is in, but who will join her in the race for State Rep?

I thought we’d have some Peabody political insider fun this afternoon, and talk about what the Eye is uncovering in what could become another very interesting race for the State Rep seat in the 12th Essex District (Peabody Wards 1-4, Ward 5 Prec. 1 & 3).

Less than a year after Republican Leah Cole’s stunning special election upset win over Democrat Beverley Dunne and unenrolled candidate Dave Gravel, candidate names are being floated as the seat gets contested again this November.

Dunne has told several people that she’s going for it again on the Democrat side, and we’ve heard speculation that Ward 1 Councilor Barry Osborne is contemplating a run as an unenrolled candidate.

But here’s what else The Eye is learning …

Incumbent Cole is leaning away from running for re-election to focus on her nursing career, and another source tells us Councilor at-large Tom Gould is leaning against running too. Gould considered running last year for the open seat after Joyce Spilliotis passed away, but then decided against it to focus on his business.

The Cole thing could change quickly, though, once the Mass GOP gets wind of it and starts doing whatever it can to convince its Golden Girl to run again, including a promise to help her build a campaign war chest north of $100K.

It all does make you wonder, though, if the Peabody Democratic City Committee is going to step up this time and support the Democratic candidate. Osborne is really a Democrat, and so too was Gravel last time. But the party insiders were divided, and with Dunne and Gravel splitting the vote, it made things much easier for Ms. Cole to pull off the upset.

Let me know in the comments section what you think will happen here.

Get out and vote today: State Rep Special Election, polls open until 8 p.m.

2 Apr

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Today is the Special Election for State Rep in the 12th Essex District  (Peabody Wards 1-4, and Prec. 1 and 3 in Ward 5).

PLEASE: Do your civic duty today, and get out and vote. Polls are open until 8 p.m.

Here are the candidates:

Leah V. Cole 369 Lynnfield Street Republican
Beverley A. Griffin Dunne 10 Colfax Street Democrat
David C. Gravel 20 Tara Road Unenrolled

Here’s a listing of all of Peabody’s polling places. If you are not sure where you vote, please call the City Clerk’s office at 978-538-5756.

Ward 1
1-1 Saint Ann’s Church 140 Lynn St.
1-2 Woodbridge Assisted Living 240 Lynnfield St.
1-3 Saint Ann’s Church 140 Lynn St.
Ward 2
2-1 Welch School 50 Swampscott Ave.
2-2 Welch School 50 Swampscott Ave.
2-3 South School 16 Maple St. Ext.
Ward 3
3-1 Our Lady of Fatima Church 50 Walsh Ave.
3-2 Our Lady of Fatima Church 50 Walsh Ave.
3-3 Wilson Terrace Rec Hall 15A Wilson Ter.
Ward 4
4-1 Higgins Middle School 1 King St. Ext.
4-2 Higgins Middle School 1 King St. Ext.
4-3 Peabody Vets Memorial High School 485 Lowell St.
4-3A Macintosh Clubhouse 300 Brooksby Village Dr.
Ward 5
5-1 Kiley School 21 Johnson St.
5-3 McCarthy School 76 Lake St.

MA GOP may have hurt its State Rep candidate with this ill-advised mail piece

28 Mar

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The biggest post-debate topic wasn’t really the scope and substance of what the three State Rep candidates had to say last night in their one-hour forum inside Wiggin Auditorium at Peabody City Hall in advance of Tuesday’s special election. What people from all sides seemed most intent on talking about was a campaign mail piece that was sent to Peabody residents this week by the Mass. State Republican Party.

The infamous MA GOP flier that might have hurt their candidate Leah Cole

The infamous MA GOP flier that might have hurt their candidate Leah Cole

In the end, that two-sided flyer (pictured right from the Peabody Patch) not only gave Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne and unenrolled candidate Dave Gravel the opening to effectively paint Republicans as negative and mean-spirited. …

It embarrassed the Republican candidate Leah Cole.

Once Gravel brought it up, all Cole could really do was sit there, take the criticism, and defend herself by saying she had nothing to do with it. She was sorry it got sent on her behalf, she said. But it didn’t matter and it’s just another example of why we continue to be a one party state dominated by Democrats.

In the fullest of disclosures here, I am a Democrat. But I’m also a conservative Dem, who feels that one-party rule is hurting Massachusetts. I believe in the basic principles of my party, but I also feel that multiple party balance keeps everyone honest when it comes to spending my tax dollars.

It’s the reason why I feel it’s a shame that MA GOP leadership continues to rival the tactics of Larry, Moe, and Curly.

The MA GOP many times finds great candidates, people like Peabody’s Greg Bunn and Richard Tisei and Scott Brown, and even newcomers like Leah Cole to run solid campaigns in an effort to crack the Democratic stranglehold. But in the immortal words of Jim Morrison in describing himself, Republican leaders in our state might be “intelligent, sensitive humans.” But they also  have “the souls of a clown, which forces them to blow it at the most important moments.”

Take the case of Mr. Tisei, who mid-way through his run for Congress had a double-digit lead in the polls over incumbent  John Tierney. But then along came “help” from the national Republican Party and extreme right wing groups, who dove into the Primordial ooze and “supported” the likeable and moderate Tisei. Those mail pieces and TV ads tried to paint Tierney as the evilest  politician since Genghis Khan.  It backfired, of course, and as a result Tisei lost his lead, the election, and once again Republican hopes dried up like an egg cracked on the floor of a desert.

In the case of this latest ill-advised piece from the MA GOP, not only is it incredibly negative, but it’s also flat out inaccurate. If I were feeling a little angrier today I’d even tell you that they plain old lied about Gravel and Dunn in this piece.

They paint the two long-time Peabody elected officials at “peas in a pod” with Governor Deval Patrick when it comes to his bloated proposal for raising taxes, and spending taxpayer money. But … NEWSFLASH MA GOP! Both Dunne and Gravel are AGAINST the governor’s tax plan. So much for the fine details, I guess.

In general, Peabody voters hate this sort of negative campaigning. The lies only make this piece even more deplorable in the eyes of the voters.

But even worse is the fact that these stooges may have hurt their own candidate, who had seemingly been gaining some momentum. If I were Leah Cole, I might right now be thinking about a letter  to MA GOP Chair Kristen Hughes that begins with:

“Dear Kristen, please, I’m begging you … don’t help me.”

You can read more about the debate here in the Peabody Patch.

Catching up on nice honor for local hero … and more

22 Mar

(Just catching up on some things after a very busy month for work travel and the campaign.)

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Local hero Alex Romano

Local hero Alex Romano

Starting this off today by talking about an honor for a “local hero,” and a young woman who should be a model for other Peabody teens to follow.

Peabody High senior Alexndra Romano was honored this week as a local hero by the American Red Cross of Northeast Massachusetts for going above and beyond in putting together a campaign to help people who became homeless because of Hurricane Sandy. Alex called her campaign “Kill the Chill,” and it included collecting clothing and blankets, and collecting donations for storm victims, which were quickly put to use by the Red Cross.

Alex and her sister Lea are both very active in their community when it comes to public service, and it’s an awesome thing to watch in these days when many young people would rather spend their free time playing video games.

The sisters also each year organize the “Caring Carolers,” who roam our Goodale Street-area neighborhood during Christmastime singing carols door-to-door while collecting money for Haven From Hunger. Not only do they get their friends together to sing for a very good cause, but their visit to your door really makes you feel good and get into the Christmas spirit.

Angela and Mike Romano must be very proud parents!

 Want to know why we are stuck with Comcast?

Mayor Ted Bettencourt  says he is asked on an almost daily basis why Peabody is not home to any alternative providers of cable TV, high-speed internet and telephone service. Conspiracy theories abound but it turns out the answer is simple and straight forward, according to a press release The Eye received from City Hall this week:

“At this time, no other provider of the phone/cable/ internet trio of services has expressed an interest in coming to Peabody,” Mayor Bettencourt tells The Eye. “We would like residents to have a choice of providers and would certainly welcome other options. At this time however, none of the alternatives to Comcast has stepped up with a proposal.”

Mayor Bettencourt said he understands Peabody residents’ frustration with the lack of choice here. “I absolutely understand their frustrations,” Bettencourt said. “Having a choice helps assure we get the best value for our money. When there is no competition in the marketplace, people feel like they are at the mercy of a monopoly. In the final analysis however, we cannot force these competitors to set up shop in Peabody against their will.”

With some of the best known alternatives out of reach for now, Bettencourt says the city may turn its attention to niche providers who offer similar services on an individual or dual basis rather than the heavily marketed three-in-one portfolio.

“We recognize the benefit of having more than one provider of cable, phone and internet service,” said Mayor Bettencourt. “If another provider sees a market in Peabody, we are all ears.”

 Our sign of the times: Great job by Smuz and the Mayor

Hats off to Mayor Bettencourt for holding firm and instituting the cease and desist order, and to City Solicitor Michael Smerczynski for his skillful argument in court this past week on placement of the giant billboard on Lowell Street near Route 1.

Judge Howard Whitehead agreed with city officials — the 92-foot pole is definitely not where they thought it was going to be installed when he ruled against the city last year.

As reported in the Peabody Patch, Smerczynski says the issue now for Whitehead to decide is whether that truly was because of a clerical error when the plans were submitted in court or a broken promise first made to appease local officials who didn’t want the billboard there at all off Lowell Street. The city and the owner of the billboard, Total Outdoor Corp, argued their sides in Salem Superior Court this past Monday. Definitely more work to do in court before this is resolved. Stay tuned.

 Should be either Dunne or Gravel, but Cole could surprise

Going to be a very interesting Election Day on April 2 when people go to the polls to vote in the State Rep special election. Because name recognition is so important, I honestly think it’s between Democrat Beverley Griffin Dunne and unenrolled candidate David Gravel. But there is a lot of money being pumped into Republican Leah Cole’s campaign by the Republican Party and the Ron-Paul-inspirted Libery Movement. There’s also a lot of unhappiness these days with traditional candidates, so Cole might actually pull a solid number. It’s not my State Rep district, so I sort of feel cheated here. I can’t even vote! …

Great job by Councilor At-Large Tom Gould while handling the MC duties at last Saturday’s First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Roast and breakfast at City Hall. Also, a lot of surprisingly funny performances by some local politicos. I mean, who knew Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz and Mayor Bettencourt were actually funny guys? It was a really fun morning for a really great cause as all the ticket and raffle money went to Haven From Hunger.

If you are in the 12th Essex State Rep District: GET OUT AND VOTE on April 2nd!

‘Make The Call’ show invites State Rep primary candidates to address voters

6 Mar

By Eye On Peabody

Please join your hosts Dick Jarvis and Bob Croce tonight, 8-9 p.m., on PAT Channel 99 when they invite the candidates from yesterday’s primaries for Peabody  State Rep. on the “You Make the Call” show.

Dick and Bob have invited Democratic Primary winner Beverley Griffin Dunne, Republican Primary winner Leah Cole, and Republican Primary runner up Greg Bunn to come on and address the voters of Peabody about yesterday’s results.

On our next show, we will invite back Dunne and Cole, as well as unenrolled candidate David Gravel in advance of the final election on April 2nd.

For now, though, please tune in and ask questions of the candidates. Each will be individually given 10-15 minutes to address the voters and answer questions from our co-hosts and the callers.

Cole edges Bunn in State Rep Republican primary

5 Mar

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

On day when just 6% of Peabody voters turned out at the polls, Leah Cole topped Greg Bunn 512-460 to win the Republican nomination in today’s primary for State Rep in the 12th Essex District.

In what was a record low turnout for a Peabody election, Peabody School Committee member Beverley Griffin Dunne also advanced to the final ballot as the Democratic nomineee. Dunne did not have a primary opponent, but she also ended up with more votes than Cole.

Cole, Dunne, and unenrolled candidate David Gravel will faceoff in the final election on April 2nd.

In their own words: Hear from the candidates for state rep before you vote

5 Mar

By Eye on Peabody

If you haven’t yet voted in today’s Primary for the Special Election for Peabody State Rep in the 12th Essex District,  and are still undecided, check out these videos in the Peabody Patch. They are from a recent appearance by each candidate at the Brooksby Village candidates forum.

State Rep Primary Election Day is upon us: Get out and vote today

4 Mar
Beverley Dunne

Beverley Dunne

Leah Cole

Leah Cole

Greg Bunn

Greg Bunn

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you already voted today, please use the comments section to tell us who you voted for, why, and what was the scene/turnout like at your polling place.

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Today is Election Day in Peabody for those who live in Wards 1-4, and in Ward 5 Precincts 1 and 3. Three candidates are on the ballot in a primary for State Representative.

There is a contested primary on the Republican side, where Greg Bunn will face off against Leah Cole.  On the Democratic side, Beverley Griffin Dunne will appear on the ballot, but is unopposed. If you are not enrolled in either the Republican or Democratic Party, you are eligible tomorrow to choose either party’s ballot.

Either Bunn or Cole, and Dunne will faceoff April 2nd against unenrolled candidate David Gravel on final election ballot in this race to fill the seat left open in the 12th Essex District following the death of Joyce Spilliotis last November.

Polls are open  from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Here are some more details in the Peabody Patch.

VOTE!

Poll: How will you vote in the primary for State Rep?

25 Feb

By Eye on Peabody

We’re just about one week away from primary day  (March 5th) in the special election for State Rep in the 12th Essex District. If you live in  Peabody Wards 1-4 and in Precinct 1 or 3 in Ward 5, and plan to vote in the primary, please take our poll.

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