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?


7 Responses to “Sighting a local hero and some curious political creatures at re-scheduled Ward 6 party”

  1. Bev Griffin Dunne July 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Hey, come on, Bob – that net kept moving! 🙂 WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR! Seriously, though, Ward 6 held a great Independence Day Celebration.. Sgt. Steve O’Hara really is a hero, and it’s nice that he was honored and recognized. And,it was nice to see so many people helping as volunteers at the event – including you and your lovely wife!

  2. Pookanutta July 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Funny that doofus from Danvers showed up. I just wish he had a credible challenger. I certainly won’t be voting for the hack! I think you’ll all be a bit surprised by the vote tally for Demo this November. Tierney is all washed up, just like “Bev”, people whom don’t have good constituent services will not continue to get elected. As for the Zoom Dweeby from ward 5, I think well already know his character.

    • Bob Croce July 22, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      I think Beverley is one of the best elected officials we have in Peabody when it comes to “constituent” services. She’s very responsive as a member of the School Committee. So, I don’t get that part of your comment.

  3. anon July 22, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    Not sure when the last time is that you called her, (Beverley) for something Bobby, but I can tell you that the poster above “pookanutta” is accurate with their comment in regards to both of those people. Maybe you are friends and on the inside circle, so you get a call back? I didn’t!

    • Bob Croce July 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

      I only go by what I see, and I can assure you that I’m not “on the inside circle.” of anything, It’s quite the opposite, my friend.

  4. Anon July 22, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Just curious? What is your policy about approving and posting comments? Do you drag your feet on approving comments that effect people in your click? I am waiting for a truthful comment to be posted on this thread, don’t let me down!

    • Bob Croce July 22, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      Any comment that doesn’t violate our rules, is approved. That essentially means that I approve any and all comments that aren’t potentially libelous, don’t use vulgar language, and don’t launch personal attacks on private citizens. Since I don’t do this for a living, sometimes I can’t immediately approve some comments, but I get to them as fast as I can.

      Please let me know if you have any other issues you’d like me to address. By the way, I don’t belong to any “clicks,” and everything I write is from a totally independent perspective. Thanks for reading. I really do appreciate it.

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